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A custom 1950 Mercury takes SEMA and the media by storm. And it's not even finished yet.
vegas merc lead 1.29.2011
Filed under Projects > Current
blog rule
Classic lines, classic powerplant... unconventional application of themes and styling. THAT makes a unique ride.

Let's go back a while here... Almost three years, in fact. Zane calls, and we get talking about this 1950 Mercury project that may be coming on board, and would I like to draw it up?

Hell yes.

Over the next few weeks, we chat, email and consider how to approach the car, what the owner's tastes are, what will work, what won't... In other words, it's like any other project at this stage. A custom Merc with tons of cool details. I draw that kind of thing all day, and it's what Zane builds anyway. Easy enough.

We throw references into the emails... Alcorn, Barris, Hirohata. We discuss the stuff the car owner enjoys, like exotic cars, musclke cars, weapons, music, lifestyle. It goes from easy to complex in a heartbeat. We talk about typical Merc build styles, the cliches, the stand-outs, the also-rans.

And then it starts to come together.

  1950 mercury custom
Dismissing cliched builds, we focus on the car itself, and the old girl starts to talk. This isn't destined to be "just another kustom"... No, this will combine a few key items to make it a driver's driver. A touring car with kustom skin.

A Kustom Touring coupe. Freakin' brilliant.

Doodle after doodle fly from my table, and we nail the roofline. Classic. Aggressive. Clean. Proportionate.

profile sketch

That tackled, it was in the hands of Zane and his crew to start the metal work, while I got to know Knick a bit more, and we discussed interior surfaces, paint finishes, metal polishing, satins, gloss, brushed... we looked in every corner.

Fast-forward some time, and behold... SEMA Show. Check out Zane on the floor giving a look at the Merc for Miller:

That was a crazy week, leading to the show. Monday the week before, we knew the car was going, but were unknown on whose booth it would appear. We talked with contacts, friends... and even had a spot finalized. Typical of the Merc, it chose a new spot once in Vegas, planting itself at the Ford booth.

It scored a TON of attention, perhaps because it showed up in Vegas naked and raw (ironically, we usually leave Vegas like that), but perhaps because it was unexpected for "Mr. Zanal" to show anything that wasn't perfectly finished. Either way, it grabbed media attention quickly, even the Times:

merc times blog

It's been a great project so far, and, as occasionally happens, I've met another great car guy, made new friends, and am loving the creative challenge each step of the way.

merc sema show

Here it is on SPEED TV:

ny times merc

...oh yeah... those oine-off tail light bezels, milled by Jesse Greening. He's dreamy.

custom tail lmap bezel

Much, MUCH more soon. Stay tuned as Josephine really comes into her own.


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